Southside Festival is ‘best’ in Scotland

Southside Fringe founder Crawford Smith.
Southside Fringe founder Crawford Smith.

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe may be great ... but Glasgow’s Southside Fringe Festival has now been voted the best in the country.

That was the resounding vote in the Scottish Hospitality Awards 2017, which has handed to the grass roots arts, music, comedy and more spectacular the ultimate events accolade – “Best Scottish Festival”.

The May festival fortnight has continued to grow year on year from relatively modest beginnings, and this year featured a large and eclectic programme of around 200 events over no less than 48 venues.

It’s also “the largest community festival in Glasgow”.

Southside Fringe was co-founded by Crawford Smith (pictured here playing in one of the Southside Sessions gigs) and Corinna Currie, and aimed to “shine a light” on the hidden gems to be found in the south side’s diverse arts and entertainment community.

Launched just five years ago the festival venues now include clubs, bars, cafes, restaurants, shopping centres and outdoor spots.

The literary programme alone was a show-stopper this year, featuring, for example, John Martin reading from his book “Psychedelic C onfessions of a Primary Screamer”, while the drama offering included everything from a Baldy Bane Theatre Company production about the plight of refugees to a murder mystery dinner at the Butterfly and Pig.

Dance, cinema, music, cabaretm heritage and comedy galore all featured in the 2017 festival fortnight – and besides arts venues like the Tramway literally dozens of local businesses, large and small, allowed their premises to play a starring role, hosting events large and small.

Meanwhile, on the theme of “only in Glasgow”. the programme now also includes Pastaval, a Macaroni and Cheese festival that is hugely popular and hotly contested by participating bars, restaurants and cafes.

The news was announced at a glittering awards ceremony before 200 guests at Glasgow’s Crowne Plaza Hotel. and the award itself comes courtesy of votes from the general public.

A spokesman for the event said: “The winners are a true reflection of high standard and customer service as they are chosen by members of the general public.

“They are a true reflection of the talent in Scotland and we want to make sure that the hard work of Scottish hospitality professionals doesn’t go unnoticed.”